What to investigate before accepting a job offer

Job interviews shouldn't be a one-way conversation. They are also an opportunity for you to learn about the company and its culture and benefits. Work for a company that you admire and that inspires you.

Before taking any job, investigate the following topics. Much of this information may come from the company website or human resources, which you can investigate prior to your interview, but some may need to come from the hiring manager.

  • Relocation cost reimbursement
  • Cost of living for the job location
  • Commute time for the location
  • Medical coverage
  • Sick leave policy
  • Vacation policies and time to accrue vacation
  • Flex-work and work from home policies
  • Travel commitment for the job
  • Any items the job offer may be contingent on (such as a new contract)
  • Company financial contribution toward advanced degrees
  • Company paid training, certifications, and society membership dues & conferences
  • Company investment plans
  • Retirement benefits

Comparing job offers

When weighing your options, look beyond just the annual salary and try to compare total compensation and work environment.

  • Take all benefits into account when comparing the overall salary.
  • Avoid jobs that require long commutes, which add to your work day.
  • Make sure you understand the job description and duties completely.
  • Don’t accept a "conditional" position (e.g., with a possible termination after a 3-month review), unless you must.